Domestic Violence Woozles in Australia

By Beverley Armitage

 

In order to tackle any problem, as far as possible we need to know the extent of, and the reasons for, it. While it is true that statistics about domestic violence are difficult to obtain, there is data available. The 2012 ABS survey reports domestic violence levels at about 7% of the population and that 2/3 of the victims are women, however it does report that there has been a dramatic (175%) increase in men as victims since 2005 (93% by women). Further, that 57 women and 39 men (not all by women) are killed in domestic homicides each year. This is serious problem for some women and a significant problem for some men.

Politicians, police, and women’s organizations have spread the following Woozle far and wide, and it would be considered the truth by those who formulate policy and domestic violence law. As such, it leads to even more skewed legislation and policies. The extensive media coverage also always includes this Woozle:

‘DV is the leading cause of death and injury for women aged under of 45.’

We are being lead to believe women are dropping like flies due to domestic violence. This Woozle (factoid) is drawn from two VicHealth reports which say:

“Intimate partner violence is responsible for more ill-health and premature death in Victorian women under the age of 45 than any other of the well-known preventable risk factors,including high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.”[1]

“In Victoria, intimate partner violence contributes nine per cent to the total disease burden of women aged 15 to 44 years. This makes it the leading contributor to illness, disability and premature death for this group, outstripping other known risk factors including obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and illicit drug use”[2]

This nine percent is dwarfed by other causes as it is only a small percentage of the total.

Further reading of these reports says that a percentage of mental illness is because of domestic violence, though we are not told how much. However another report[3] states:

“Among the younger women, sole mothers were more likely than other women to have experienced suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Among the younger and mid-age women, sole mothers were more than twice as likely to have experienced depression, and had significantly poorer psychological health and used medication for depression”.

No men here but single mothers obviously are a significant contributor to the mental illness burden since lone parent families comprise 15% of all families with single mother families making up the vast majority of lone parent families (83%). When all this is considered the truth is something quite different, DV does not make the list the top causes of death and illness.

For women under 45. These are:

  1. Anxiety & Depression
  2. Migraine
  3. Type 2 diabetes
  4. Asthma
  5. Schizophrenia.

There is a problem but only looking at part of the problem is not helpful and ignoring or trivializing part of that problem is not useful and tends to put men off side in contributing to solving or reducing DV as they feel they are being ignored or treated as only perpetrators.

Actions

I have sent to Media Watch ABC, Australian press council, Independent Media Council, FreeTV, ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority). Contacts given below.

The following:


The following Woozle (factoid) has been widely disseminated in the media:

“DV is the leading cause of death and injury for women aged under of 45.’

This is incorrect as the VicHealth report says:

“Intimate partner violence is responsible for more ill-health and premature death in Victorian women under the age of 45 than any other of the well-known preventable risk factors, including high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.”.

Which is something quite different.

DV does not make the list the top causes of death and illness. For women under 45 these are:

  1. Anxiety & Depression
  2. Migraine
  3. Type 2 diabetes
  4. Asthma
  5. Schizophrenia.

The media should stop disseminating, correct, withdraw, and/or publish the correct wording from the VicHealth report. This Woozle (factoid) is factually incorrect and breaches the Code of conduct.


There are strength in numbers and I urge others to also send an email (as suggested) to these peak bodies (mostly) and Media Watch (as it is more likely to get TV time).

Contacts

Media Watch: mediawatch@your.abc.net.au

Free TV (parent body for all commercial TV): contact@freetv.com.au

Australian Press Council (Form only): http://www.presscouncil.org.au/complaint-form/

Independent media council: complaints@independentmediacouncil.com.au

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA): broadcasting@acma.gov.au

The Sydney Morning Herald: readerlink@smh.com.au

The Age (Form only): https://www.kampyle.com/feedback_form//ff-feedback-form.php?site_code=8954894&lang=en&form_id=43614##Form only

Daily Telegraph: news@dailytelegraph.com.au

Herald Sun: readerlink@smh.com.au

The Advertiser: tiser@adv.newsltd.com.au

Brisbane Courier Mail: readerhelp@qnp.newsltd.com.au

References

1. Preventing violence against women in Australia

2. The health cost of violence

3. Burden of disease due to mental illness and mental health problems 2007

About the Author

Bev (Beverley Armitage) is retired and now lives at the country seaside town of Wallaroo on the York Peninsular in South Australia and has been interested / active in men’s rights for 25 years. Previous employment before retirement was in the IT field and man machine interface as applicable in flight and other man in the loop simulations

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2 thoughts on “Domestic Violence Woozles in Australia

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  2. Vic”Health”, that’s a stretch. Given the complexities and depths of issues around dv one has to ask the question, “I wonder how many lives, men’s, women’s and children’s could we save if we simply approached domestic violence according to “health” as the priority rather than the political statistical capital gained by standing by and letting people suffer and die? You know, PEOPLE?!
    It’s criminal negligence by the state. You know I watched a you tube vid of all Australian and N.Z. police commissioners walking into the federal parliament, and then the leaders of both major parties “paying court” to the U.N. white ribbon campaign. A campaign that clearly inflames and perpetuates gender conflict and violence in families, and then harvests the resulting statistics for political capital. I am sure this is a crime under Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Court; i.e. it’s a crime against humanity. Vic Health, a government organisation is withholding it’s governmental duty of care to citizens to ALL citizens in this case. Yes, the Victorian government, i.e. OUR Parliament, OUR Courts and Our public services are deliberately manipulating and withholding their duties of care. Why? to support an unelected political party, that presents no candidates for election to any Australian parliament by any Australian citizen. This practice is, I would say clearly, unconstitutional. And – the government has actually filmed and put online our parliament and most senior law enforcement officers paying court to that (non-government) “party” on the hallowed civic ground of OUR DEMOCRACY! (N.B; Let’s keep in mind that this same parliament is at the same time thumbing it’s nose at the U.N. and abusing refugees with impunity.) This is a no brainer, in fact I think they (poli’s and police) are so dumb they don’t even realise what they’ve done. Broke the law, filmed it, and put it on You Tube. Ah, this politic (I call it “the Burarchie”) is on the ropes and desperately trying to stay relevant. The more they do stuff like this, even presenting the statistics as above itself is evidence. Someone is going to give all of this evidence our government is giving us (including the names of those senior bureaucrats and political leaders responsible, cause they gave us that info as well) to the international criminal court, and then we’ll see if the National Government Broadcaster will put that on the news??? There is an old saying … you can fool some of the people some of the time … Or maybe it just gets to the point where you shaft a section of the community who are the ones who say, “Oh you say I’m responsible? .. Ok I’ll take responsibility and do my civic duty just like a responsible citizen is supposed to do. You know there are administrative mechanisms for that, and then there are legal mechanisms. Maybe they could have just listened at the administrative level, but they didn’t, and they don’t.. Just have to send all the evidence on then. Here’s some news on this dv debacle. What the statistics provide is no information or evidence of family violence perpetrated by anyone; except the the state. And that is illegal. You all keep that in mind. Cheers.

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